By Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap
ROME, SEPT. 19, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The parable about the workers sent out at different times to work in the vineyard has always caused big problems for readers of the Gospel. Is it right for the owner of the vineyard to pay the same wage to those who have worked for only an hour and those who have worked the whole day? Does this not violate the principle of just recompense? Today workers' unions would rise up together to denounce any owner of a company who did this.
The difficulty we are experiencing here stems from a certain equivocation. One thinks of the problem of recompense in the abstract and in general or in reference to eternal recompense in heaven. Seen in this way, it would effectively contradict the principle according to which God "will repay each one as his work deserves" (Romans 2:6). But Jesus is talking about a specific situation, a very precise case. The only wage that is given to everyone is the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus has brought to the earth; it is the possibility of entering into the messianic salvation to be a part of it. The parable begins by saying that "the Kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn ..."Read all of You Go Into the Vineyard, Too.